If you’ve filed a tax return this year and suddenly received any additional tax forms or noticed that something wasn’t quite right with it, you’ve probably wondered if it’s possible to amend it and save on the fees associated with having it be incorrect.
The form you need to know about when looking into amending your tax return is IRS form 1040X. You can use this form to correct your income in the event you input it wrong, change deductions or credits you may have accidentally taken or forgotten to claim, change the number of exemptions you’re allowed, amend your filing status (married, single, head of household, etc), or update your healthcare status (you can be fined if you didn’t have healthcare coverage during the year). You also can claim what’s called a “retroactive refundable credit” – making you able to change issues from up to three years prior.
However, you cannot use IRS form 1040x on your tax return to make changes to accidental math errors or to submit missing forms. Reach out to the IRS directly for the appropriate forms for those situation. It also doesn’t apply to requesting refunds from penalties or interest or to add taxes that you have already paid. If you have questions, it’s best to contact the IRS directly to make sure you’re submitting the best form.
The form itself is very simple and easy to understand. It consists of an original amount column, an amended amount column, boxes to check off to verify your status and an open section for you to explain why you’re needing to make any changes to your tax return.
And don’t worry! According to the statistics from the IRS, filing an amended tax return does not increase your risk of being audited! They actually use an incredibly complex system to decide who gets audited, called the Discriminate Inventory Function. This system compares your tax return to that of other tax payers, looking for any major deviation from the norm. Even if your tax return sets any alarms off in this system, a real life IRS agent will review it before making the decision to audit.
Here are few tips for a successful tax return amendment :
– Only file after you have filed the original tax return.
– You must file a 1040x on paper, there is no option for electronic filing.
– Make sure you note on the form what year you are filing the amendment for.
– Check your state taxes as well to verify you don’t need to file an amendment there as well.
It normally takes 8 – 12 weeks for the IRS to process your amendment. You can track your progress on the IRS website! Amending a tax return can seem like scary business but we hope you learned a few things about how to best do it in the unlikely event that you need to. Don’t be intimidated. Please visit www.taxreturn247.com.au for additional hints and information on amending your tax return!